Google is closing down its social network, Google+, after user data was exposed.
It will shut down over the next 10 months after it was revealed that a bug in its software meant information that people believed was private had been accessible by third parties between 2015 and 2018.
Up to 500,000 users had been affected, Google said.
Data exposed is believed to include people’s names, email addresses, birth dates, profile photos, and gender.
According to reports, the company knew about the issue in March but did not disclose it for fear of regulatory scrutiny.
In a blogpost on Monday, Google said it had decided to “sunset” the consumer version of Google+.
Ben Smith, Google’s vice president of engineering said in the post: “It has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps.”
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The tech giant added: “We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API [programming portal], and we found no evidence that any profile data was misused.”
Google said it would continue to offer Google+-powered networks for businesses currently using the software.
Google+ was launched in 2011.
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